Thursday, 23 May 2019

Neoliberalism is in decline, but don't celebrate too soon

Just a few weeks ago the Tories suffered their worst local election results in a quarter of a century.

This week they're going to get so smashed at the Euro elections it'll almost certainly be their worst electoral result in history. Most of the polls put them battling with the Greens for 4th/5th place.

Over 80% of the public think Theresa May has done a bad job of negotiating Brexit, and she's so unpopular within her own party that the Tory top brass are trying to tear up the party rule book in a desperate effort to force her out within six months of the last effort to depose her*.

A malicious and incompetent leader selfishly clinging onto power for as long as possible while her political party disintegrates around her.

This is what neoliberalism in decline looks like.

For four decades the Tory party have relentlessly served the interests of the mega-rich elitists who bankrolled their operation at the expense of everyone else, and at the expense of the UK economy as a whole.

They were bad enough before 1979, but when Thatcher injected the toxic hard-right political virus of neoliberalism into Westminster and the UK government they've turned into absolute monsters, continually asset stripping the UK and transferring as much wealth as possible from the ordinary majority to the tiny mega-rich minority.

Entire working class industries shut down as part of their ideological war on trade unions, communities all over Britain left to rot, continual government attacks on workers' rights and working conditions, ruinous austerity dogma, unprecedented wage repression, devastating public service cuts, deliberate under-investment in infrastructure, housing and education, wanton vandalism of the social safety net ...

Meanwhile they've provided a continual banquet of tax cuts, lavish handouts, and privatisation scams for their mega-rich backers to gorge themselves upon.

The ruination they've inflicted on ordinary workers, the poor, the vulnerable, the disabled, and left behind communities all over the United Kingdom is finally coming back onto them.

Their neoliberal policies have left millions of people broke, stressed and looking at the future without hope, so it's nice to think that just for once these elitist toffs are in a complete mess and looking at the future with dread, because it means they're getting just a tiny taste of the panic and distress their neoliberal agenda has inflicted on millions of other people's lives for the last four decades.

It's extraordinary to think that just four years ago all three of the main Westminster establishment parties went into the 2015 General Election with pro-austerity pro-privatisation orthodox neoliberal manifestos, yet now the godawful Lib-Dems look like they're going to be the last neoliberal standing!

Thankfully Labour have shifted back to their traditional pro-investment, pro-worker, pro-public ownership stance since Jeremy Corbyn became leader, and the Tories are on the brink of abandoning the neoliberal orthodoxy altogether in order to chase the repulsive extreme-right ultranationalist blue-kip demographic who have been abandoning them in droves since Theresa May completely banjaxed the Brexit negotiations.

Labour's position is to try to reverse the damage of the last four decades by investing in our public services and infrastructure projects, giving Britain a pay rise, and making corporations and the mega-rich stop dodging tax and pay their fair share.

Under whichever Brextremist replaces Theresa May the Tories are going to try to use the dire consequences of their own neoliberal policies in order to push an even more fanatically right-wing agenda.

And the Lib-Dems will be left in the abandoned neoliberal territory begging for a return to "more of the same" and facing the eventual choice of whether to help Labour undo the damage, or back the far-right Tories.

It's pretty damned obvious what they'll chose, given that they participated in the 2010-15 coalition government that unlawfully discriminated against and deported black British citizens, introduced deeply illiberal secret courts, imposed ruinous austerity dogma, unlawfully attacked workers' rights, stripped the police and fire services to the bone, trashed our future economic potential by under-investing in infrastructure, gagged charities, flogged the Royal Mail off at miles below its true value, turned Libya into a lawless terrorist breeding ground, gutted local government funding, delivered unprecedented rates of wage repression, privatised 3/4 of English secondary schools into the hands of unaccountable private profiteers, systematically abused sick and disabled people, and so much more ...

They're hardly likely to back a Labour government intent on undoing as much of this damage as possible, so they'll stand in opposition to Labour in order to protect this appalling stuff that they actually see as 'gains', and if the chance comes up to form another coalition with the Tories, they'll obviously jump at it, because if Theresa May's fascistic Hostile Environment and vile anti-immigrant hatemongering as Home Secretary weren't too much for them between 2010 and 2015, they'll likely be fine with whatever far-right antics Boris Johnson/Dominic Raab/Michael Gove get up to won't they?

The ongoing collapse of orthodox neoliberalism means there's going to have to be a paradigm shift in British politics.

Either we try to reverse course and undo the worst of the four decades of neoliberal damage, or we double down and embrace the far-right.

This means anyone attempting to occupy the rapidly evacuated faux centre-ground of orthodox neoliberalism is going to have to accept the risk that they're going to end up backing the far-right by default, because neoliberalism has an awful lot more in common with outright fascism than it does with democratic socialism.

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* = I'm not even a fan of an "another roll of the dice" referendum but it's funny how the Tories think they should be allowed to vote again within a matter of months because they've changed their minds, but the British public shouldn't have another say after over three years isn't it?


Anonymous said...

So if Labour get into power and miraculously manage to re-nationalise UK energy with their 25 billion a year for ten years credit scheme (yikes) and the unions they get on with end up representing different parts of the energy sector...

What makes you guys think the unions are going to enable the switch to renewables if it's going to cost the jobs of workers in, say, coal, oil and nuclear? Seeing as the unions directly get their power from these workers? Just an honest question ;)

Unknown said...

You're assuming there's no money in renewables .

Anonymous said...

No. China is currently leading the way on renewables and the entire sector got off the ground because of free market innovation. I have not said anything of the sort, you are deflecting.

Answer the question.

Antitoria said...

The end of neoliberalism, I don't think so. There is now only Labour and a few others who don't represent neoliberalism. And if Labour was to be taken over by the Blairites then most of Westminster represents the lovely culture of neoliberalism. I would certainly agree with the malicious and incompetent charges though. A useless PM. No ability, no class, no vision, no substance or style, woefully out of her depth in politics, no leadership, stubborn, insular, inflexible, slow. She has doggedly served the interests of the rich. Her reaction to any criticism is simple denial. I forgot her most endearing trait: weakness. She has allowed her beloved Conservative party to control her like a puppet. She caved in to everyone.

Anonymous said...

I doubt Corbyn would have been much better tbh, he's a remainer too, now.

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